Allen Ginsberg class with William Burroughs. Ginsberg begins by reading from Burroughs's work, including his book Nova Express. Burroughs arrives and discusses writing techniques, including the idea that "Life is a cut up." He also talks about why he became a writer, Laurie Anderson, rolling drunks, biological warfare, weapons and retreats. The class learns some exercises for observing details while walking down the street.
April 26, 2007 Subject:
dude is loaded
January 11, 2005 Subject:
Lively Q & A
Allen is in a energetically curious mood- trying to really get down to particulars about method. His questions bring out the best in Burroughs.
Burroughs is forthcoming with many details about his working method.
0-10: Detail and minute particulars as the life of prose in Nova Express, Payback- Shakespeare cut-up
10: WS Burroughs on detail, Allen pushes him for specifics, "how do you remember the first thing you notice?"
16: "walk around the block, come back and put down on paper what you have seen and heard with particular attention to what you were thinking when you saw a certain object... the intersection points that claim your particular reality" variation "notce things by color", "see everyone before they see you"
22:30: Do you write every day? How long each day?
24:10: Concept of discipline with regards to writing? "Make yourself available..."
26:45: Life is a cut-up
33:45: Jack always said the first thing is always the best and I said "jack that's bullshit"
36: What paintings does WSB dig?
38: Selling out; Leary anecdote
40:30: Laurie Anderson
48:10: What are you reaching for in noticing details?
50: when did you begin your observation exercises?
(rolling drunks, similarities btwn writing and spying)
56:45: What did you learn in Tangiers?
58:20: If you could read or write, but not both, for the rest of your life, which would you do?
1:10: If WSB were VP
1:13:15: What is your most secret practice? "cutting out all talk in your head"